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tv   Medal of Honor Ceremony  CSPAN  October 24, 2017 1:04am-1:30am EDT

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problem is rampant, so that's one of the biggest issues. >> i work for the commonwealth of kentucky. the most pressing issue right now in the commonwealth is the employees retirement. >> voices from the states on c-span. now we take you to the white house for a ceremony to honor combat medic gary rose. he helps a 60 american soldiers over a four-day.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states, accompanied by medal of honor recipient captain gary m. rose, united states army, retired. ♪ >> we recall the words of sacred scripture, no one has greater love than this than to lay down one's life for one's friends. let us pray. almighty god, our hope and our
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love, be present with us here now. on this so important occasion for our nation. as we recognize the extraordinary, selfless service of captain mike rose. his heroic acts of sacrifice reveal to us the true dignity of each and every one of us of all our brothers and sisters. may these few moments here today and this example of captain rose's noble service trace for us, for the world the way of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. may his heroic acts stir within us all the sacred desire to serve our nation, to serve with honor and to serve with these selfless acts that lead to peace.
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amen. president trump: please, thank you. thank you very much, chaplain hurley. vice president pence, secretary shulkin, members of congress, members of the armed forces and distinguished guests, please join me in welcoming captain gary michael rose to the white house. [applause]
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president trump: for many years the stories of mike's heroism go untold but today we proudly present him with our nation's highest military honor. joining mike today is his wife, margaret, their three children, sarah, claire and michael, and their two grandchildren, kaitlyn and christian. kaitlyn and christian, i want you to know that the medal that we will present today will forever enshrine your grandfather -- and is he a good man. we just spoke to him for a long time. and you are great, great young people. but this will enshrine him into the history of our nation. we're also grateful to be joined
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by nine previous congressional medal of honor recipients. their courage, character and conviction is beyond measure. please stand. [applause] we are honored to be in their presence. this afternoon i want to take a few moments to share the incredible story of mike's heroic deeds. raised in watertown, new york, mike's father was a metal worker and a world war ii veteran. he taught his son that we live in the greatest country in the world and that we must love it, cherish it and always defend it.
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mike took that very much to heart. after his first year in college he enlisted in the army and by the time he was 22 mike was a medic for the fifth special forces group in the vietnam war. on september 11, 1970, mike was called on his second combat mission. he was the only medic for 136 men who embarked on one of the group's biggest missions of the war, operation tailwind. their goal was to prevent the north vietnamese from funneling weapons along the ho chi minh trail to use against our american troops. helicopters dropped the unit into laos. before they even touched the ground, enemy fire struck three men.
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once they landed in the clearing, they rushed to the jungle for much-needed cover. soon another man was shot outside their defensive perimeter. mike immediately rushed to his injured comrade, firing at the enemy as he ran. in the middle of the clearing, under the machine-gun fire, mike treated the wounded soldier. he shielded the man with his own body and carried him back to safety. but this was just the beginning of mike's harrowing four-day mission. mike and his unit slashed through the dense jungle, dodged bullets, dodged explosives, dodged everything that you can dodge because they threw it all at them and continuously returned fire as they moved deeper and deeper and deeper into enemy territory. throughout the engagement, mike rescued those in distress without any thought for his own
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safety. i will tell you the people with him could not believe what they were witnessing. he crawled from one soldier to the next offering words of encouragement as he tended to their wounds. on the second day, one of the allied soldiers were shot outside their company perimeter. again, mike raced to the side of the soldier, exposing himself to constant fire as bullets flew in every direction, mike fired at the enemy with one arm while dragging the injured soldier back to the perimeter with the other. soon after they returned to their unit, a rocket propelled grenade exploded nearby and shot smoldering metal into mike's back and into his leg. he was seriously, seriously wounded. the shrapnel left a gaping hole in mike's foot.
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for the next 48 excruciating hours, he used a branch as a crutch and went on rescuing the wounded. mike did not stop to eat, to sleep or even to care for his own serious injury as he saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. on the second and final night of the mission, the enemy surrounded the company. all night long mike treated the wound and dug trenches to protect them from blazing rockets and grenades. after four days of constant engagement with the enemy and after successfully destroying an enemy base camp, mike's unit prepared to evacuate. when the helicopters arrived, mike fought back the enemy as his fellow soldiers boarded the aircraft. he limped off the aircraft. as mike puts it, if you don't
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believe in god, then you should have been with us that day. and i can tell you, it will make a believer out of you. because we should not ever have survived. mike, today, we have a room full of people and a nation who thank god that you lived. [applause] mike's story doesn't end there. soon after the helicopter lifted off the ground, the chopper was hit by enemy fire. mike, this is serious stuff. [laughter] this was not a good four days. the bullets tragically struck a young marine gunner in the throat. again, mike rushed to help as he wrapped a cloth around the marine's neck. the engine of the helicopter failed. and the aircraft crashed less than a mile from where it had
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taken off. mike was thrown off the aircraft before it hit the ground but he raced back to the crash site and pulled one man after another out of the smoking and smoldering helicopter as it spewed jet fuel from its tanks. finally, another helicopter rescued them and by the time they reached the base, mike was covered in blood. he refused treatment until all of his men had been cared for first. in every action during those four days, mike valiantly fought for the life of his comrades even if it meant the end of his own life. mike, you will -- i mean, i have to say, you really -- your will to endure, your love for your fellow soldier, your devotion to your country inspires us all. i have to tell you that is something. nations are formed out of the strength and patriotism that
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lives in the hearts of our great heroes. mike never knew for certain whether or not that marine gunner who was shot on the helicopter survived until earlier this year when mike learned that the marine had endured a painful and difficult recovery. but that he had made it and lived a long and very full life before passing away in 2012. as mike said, that in itself made it all worth it. that marine was one of many men mike saved throughout those four days mike treated an astounding 60 to 70 men. their company disrupted the enemy's continual resupply of weapons, saving countless of additional american lives. today we are joined by many of mike's brothers in arms who fought alongside him in operation tailwind. along with brave airmen and marines who provided critical
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support throughout the mission. as mike put it, if it wasn't for those aircrews, all of us would still be in laos. among those here today are 10 members of mike's unit. please stand up as i call your name. sergeant major morris adair. sergeant don boudreau. first sergeant bernie bright. captain pete landon. sergeant jim lucas. lieutenant colonel gene mccarley. first sergeant denver minton. sergeant keith plancich. specialist five craig schmidt. and staff sergeant dave young. thank you very much.
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[applause] to all those who served in the battle, you all deserve the eternal gratitude of the entire nation. you faced down communism. you defended our flag and you showed the world the unbreakable resolve of the american armed forces. thank you very much and thank you very much. after serving in operation tailwind, mike went on to become an officer in the army and served for over 20 years.
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now mike and his wife, margaret -- margaret, stand up, margaret. i met margaret. margaret's lovely. [applause] reside in a fantastic place where i just left, huntsville, alabama, where he lives by a core conviction. you serve your country by fixing your block. or fixing your neighborhood. mike volunteers with the american legion, the knights of columbus and many other organizations. he volunteers at a local soup kitchen, fixes broken appliances for elderly and disabled neighbors. donates his hair to those suffering cancer. makes lunches for children in need and organizations community gatherings to bring people closer together, which is something we need all over the world and certainly in our country. he's a loyal friend to his fellow service members.
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many of whom are in addition here today. and everyone's day -- kaitlyn and christian come over for homework night with grandma and grandpa. you have to stand up. come on, christian. come on. caitlyn. [applause] i think kaitlyn and christian will agree this field trip is their best home work assignment yet. right? what do you think, christian? he said yes. i'm told recently christian asked his grandfather what exactly is the congressional medal of honor? that is a wonderful question, christian. it's the award given to america's bravest heroes who earn our freedom with their sacrifice. those who receive the medal of honor went above and beyond the call of duty to protect their fellow service members and defend our nation.
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caitlyn and christian, you are about to witness your grandpa receive our nation's highest military honor and america's about to witness captain gary michael rose, recognized as the true american hero that he is. a patriot who never gives up, never gives in and always stands strong for god, for family and for country. mike, we honor you. we thank you. we salute you. and with hearts full of admiration and pride, we present you with the congressional medal of honor. and now i would like the military aide to come forward and read the citation. thank you very much. thank you. [applause]
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>> the president of the united states of america, authorized for by act of congress, march 3rd, 1863, has awarded, in the name of congress, the medal of honor, to sergeant. gary m. rose, united states army for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. sergeant gary m. rose distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity while serving as a special forces medic with a company-sized exploitation force, special operations augmentation, command and control central, fifth special forces group, airborne, first special forces, republic of vietnam. between 11 and 14 september 1970, sergeant rose's company was continuously engaged by a well-armed and numerically superior hostile force deep in enemy-controlled territory. enemy b-40 rockets and mortar rounds rained down while the adversary sprayed the area with
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small arms and machine gun fire, wounding many and forcing everyone to seek cover. sergeant rose, braving the hail of bullets, sprinted fifty meters to a wounded soldier's side. he then used his own body to protect the casualty from further injury while treating his wounds. after stabilizing the casualty, sergeant rose carried him through the bullet-ridden combat zone to protective cover. as the enemy accelerated the attack, sergeant rose continuously exposed himself to intense fire as he fearlessly moved from casualty to casualty, administering life-saving aid. a b-40 rocket impacted just meters from sergeant rose, knocking him from his feet and injuring his head, hand, and foot. ignoring his wounds, sergeant rose struggled to his feet and continued to render aid to the other injured soldiers. during an attempted medevac, sergeant rose again exposed himself to enemy fire as he attempted to hoist wounded personnel up to the hovering helicopter, which was unable to land due to unsuitable terrain. the medevac mission was aborted due to intense enemy fire and
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the helicopter crashed a few miles away due to the enemy fire sustained during the attempted extraction. over the next two days, sergeant rose continued to expose himself to enemy fire in order to treat the wounded, estimated to be half of the company's personnel. on september 14, during the company's eventual helicopter extraction, the enemy launched a full-scale offensive. sergeant rose, after loading wounded personnel on the first set of extraction helicopters, returned to the outer perimeter under enemy fire, carrying friendly casualties and moving wounded personnel to more secure positions until they could be evacuated. he then returned to the perimeter to help repel the enemy under [until] the final extraction helicopter arrived. as the final helicopter was loaded, the enemy began to overrun the company's position, and the helicopter's marine door gunner was shot in the neck. sergeant rose instantly administered critical medical treatment onboard the helicopter, saving the marine's life. the helicopter carrying sergeant rose crashed several hundred meters from the extraction point, further injuring sergeant rose and the personnel on
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board. despite his numerous wounds from the past three days, sergeant rose continued to pull and carry unconscious and wounded personnel out of the burning wreckage and continued to administer aid to the wounded until another extraction helicopter arrived. sergeant rose's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty were critical to saving numerous lives over that four-day time period. his actions are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the first special forces, and the united states army. [applause]
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>> eternal god, we ask for your blessings, the blessings of this day to remain with us as we go forward. may we go forth in peace empowered to serve with greater courage and strengthened to overcome the challenges of our
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service of our call. given to serve all in need. and we ask all this in your holy name. amen. [applause]
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>> ceaseorrow morning on and, a look at the upcoming republican tax proposal. they will sit down with real clear politics. live coverage starting at 8:00 is certain. then the house subcommittee on oversight and investigations looks at public health and he prepared it -- repair in this efforts-- preparedness during the hurricane season 2016. thursday, we are live in topeka kansas for the next on the seas been busted the capitals tour. kansas lieutenant governor will be our guest.
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eight: 45 eastern. coming out about the attack on troops in niger earlier this month. the service members who were ambushed waited more than an hour to call for help. will show you that pentagon briefing. it runs about 45 minutes. >> thanks for the opportunity to speak to you about the recent events in niger which claimed the lives of four lives. and i begin by offering my condolences to the units and the fallen. the anniversary is the anniversary of the 1983 beirut bombings and we will never forget them. after speaking to speaker mattis, i decided to address you because there has been speculation about the operation in niger and perceptat

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